Mac Pro Spec + Storage options

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by forwardesignz, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. forwardesignz macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2011
    Hello Everyone,

    I need advice from the mac community.

    My company wants to get a new desktop for me to work on. I have noticed that I should wait for the new Mac Pro to release.

    Meanwhile I want to learn how to build a complete 2 desktop network for my Graphic Design department.

    1. Mac Pro (with the best spec for adobe creative suite)
    2. iMac (For a new graphic designer)
    3. Storage options (RAID/Time-machine/Thunderbolt/Network)

    Since I am building a completely new Graphic Design department, I would like to know what's best..

    Your advice and time is (highly) appreciated!
  2. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Are you sure you want to wait for the next Pro?
    Since there are no XEON chips available Apple could replace the current ones with, the next upgrade is likely not to appear before early 2012.
  3. forwardesignz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2011
    According to MacRumors' Buyer's Guide that there is an update soon, its been almost a year since the last update.. I am guessing in May or June there should be an update.. But surely I cannot wait more than June.

    Do you mean there might be AMD processors in the future? Because that would be a truly great step for Apple..
  4. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    The Buyer's Guide simply analyses the time between updates. That, however, has nothing to do with real world update possibilities.

    As I said, Intel has no CPUs to replace the current ones and updating the machine with the same processors wouldn't make much any sense, would it? :rolleyes:

    Suitable processors are announced by Intel in Q4, so don't expect any update sooner than that. As mentioned, Q1 2012 seems realistic.

    AMD might be possible in the future, no one knows, but certainly not in the near future.
  5. forwardesignz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2011
    Okay, now I understand.

    Let's say I go now for the current Mac Pro for myself, what's the best spec to use for Adobe Suite in general.

    Network: I am looking at storage options (RAIDS to place on both the Mac Pro and the Server to Sync) and also looking to learn on the uses of Time-Machine and Thunderbolt in my work-line.

    Any ideas, comments on Storage, Mac Pro Spec and Network? Maybe other useful tips on Mac uses..
  6. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    The 3.33GHz 6 core would be the fastest machine you can get these days.

    If that machine is out of your price range, a 3.2GHz Quad will do fine as well. The clock difference is small and the Adobe applications aren't fully multithreaded as of yet. Except for Premiere and After Effects, all other apps are limited to a maximum of 4 cores.

    Thunderbold isn't an option for the Mac Pro yet. It is unclear whether there will be PCIe add-on cards and external storage devices won't roll out before Summer.

    TimeMachine can be pretty helpful in case that you accidentally deleted files as it serves as a version control system on a hourly basis. It's fine for incremental backups of your data.

    However, to give recommendations concerning storage and networking, you have to be more specific about your requirements.
  7. forwardesignz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2011
    What you've given me so far has been very helpful, but if you don't mind, I still want to learn more, so I will give more details on the Network and Storage.

    We are going to buy two Mac Desktops, and we have at the company a Windows Server. My Ideas is as follows:

    -Add two 1Tb HDDs (the 2nd HDD clones the data) onto the Windows Server (Using RAID 1 or 2 or 3 or etc.. whatever suitable)

    -Place an 64Gb SDD on each Mac Desktop

    -Through Network, connect both Mac Desktops to Server (Use the 1TB HDDs on the server as the main storage - due to limited space on the SSDs)

    -Through Network, connect Time-Machine, so that every hour Time-Machine stores the backup data on both the 1Tb HDDs (in case one crashes)

    Is all this possible? And where can I learn to do this?
  8. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    If you add 2 1TB drives and mirror them using RAID1, you end up with 1TB usable disc space. Nothing wrong with it and in fact a good idea since the data will still be available in case one drive fails, the clients can continue their work. However, keep in mind that RAID is no backup! So you'd still need (at least one) other drive to back up that RAID.

    Depending on the Mac Pro's configuration and applications to be used, you might want to reconsider that choice. There is no way to re-allocate the swap files OS X uses, so they will always be written to the SSD. And if you don't use another drive for the Adobe suites, the cache will be written to that drive as well.
    I'd strongly recommend 120GB in this case.

    Am I assuming right that you don't want any data drives in the Pros, just the SSD?

    Absolutely possible. However, even if you've got decent network equipment (gigabit switch and server hardware) the overall sequential speeds will be limited to approximately 100MB/s (limitation of gigabit ethernet and your RAID1 of two 1TB drives). If you use Server 2003, you can still enable AFP sharing for free (Microsoft ditched that feature with Server 2008, but third party solutions are available, not for free though), which is what I'd recommend since SMB is capped to about 40MB/s. Server 2008 already includes the current version of SMB, which is why there shouldn't be any limitations.

    I've never tried that, but a quick google search revealed that there are some hacks to enable this.

    Google. :D There is more information about this available than you could ever read. ;)
  9. forwardesignz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2011
    I really appreciate all you've taught me!! I will search on google from now on. Which I usually do. Thanks again! Great information.

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